Some years ago, in 2013 to be exact, this cool art collective named Crazy Multiply officially debuted in Seoul to play host to some neat events that sought to bring art and music, people and bevvies together in an atmosphere where art could be more approachable and people could collaborate.
Jenny Lee Robinson
So with that, I wanted to meet up with the ladies from the collective that allowed me to exhibit my work for the first time ever and a group that I briefly helped curate for (getting pregnant and having a baby changed life as we know it!) to meet the new faces, see what is going on and RE-introduce Crazy Multiply to you.
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PS: All photos in this post are from the ‘Iterate – Deviate’ show in May of this year, except for the photo of the ladies provided by them.
Crazy Multiply: REVAMPED
Can each of the curators introduce themselves?
Gigi Arredondo: I joined Crazy Multiply in January of this year (2017), and worked my first show in February. I work in painting and illustration, currently. I’ve been aware of Crazy Multiply for almost as soon as I moved to Korea. I pretty much had been waiting for the right time to submit to them. Involved in the Arts in the U.S, it was a relief to discover Crazy Multiply and eventually join because it has only allowed me to open myself up and create the kind of work I have always desired.
I have been a member since 2015 and my first show that I worked on was actually ‘Altered Perceptions’
in which I helped install future member Gigi’s work. I have just finished my masters in Fine Art with a focus on Painting and drawing. I usually work in oils but occasionally I’ll use acrylics and water-color for my paintings. I joined Crazy Multiply because I wanted to join a safe and supportive community that wanted to do innovative things in the independent art world. Aside from being an independent curator and artist, I am a math teacher at an international school and a college guidance counselor.
I have been a member since 2014 and focus on print materials, memes, and running the Crazy Multiply website. I work in new media, new art, painting and print and have just formed an alternative art/exhibition space (Sargoji Alternative Art Space) and print studio (미니print)
MISS BAIK: I have been a member since 2015. Joined members came to my exhibitions and I wanted to help them with Korean by speaking fluent Korean and communicating with some artists and art space owners who do not speak English. I have worked in galleries in London and Seoul as I studied Fine Art and History of Art. I always looked for other people who can share views and ideas on contemporary art happening in Korea. It was very lucky to meet and join team Crazy Multiply. Currently I am no longer working in the art field but still doing my own artwork at home and organizing art shows with and without Crazy Multiply.
Suki Park (박슬기): I’ve been member since this April 2017. I shoot, edit videos and promote our events on SNS and do translation. I have known about this group since 2015 and was interested in their work and joined after I quit my job to find some community. I wanted to join a foreign artists group. I’ve worked as marketing manager in Electric biz for 6 years. I decided to change my career to videographer and am still learning.
Tina Laskowski: I have been a member since April 2017. I saw a posting by CM looking for a new member. I was involved in drawing and painting and printmaking through my time in university. Coming to Korea I didn’t find a network and community of artists and felt the lost and like something was missing, so I was excited when this opportunity came up. It has been really exciting to see the whole process and all the work that goes into making a show or event happen. I have learned so much and been inspired from all the lovely ladies of CM in the short time that I’ve been with them, and am excited to continue learning and growing, and to show my own work at a show.
- Dopamine. C
Crazy Multiply seems to have a schedule of exhibitions and shows now, can you tell me what the schedule is?
MAYFLY, an exhibition series seeking to platform artists regardless of background, happens bi-monthly. In-between months are ELECTRIC CINEMA, a recurring film night that’s purpose is to explore and discuss film in an open and communal setting. We also organized curated exhibitions and music/art events. Our upcoming events Electric Cinema Vol 10 on November 16th, and Pigin (an experimental collaborative exhibition) on December 9th.
All of the members of Crazy Multiply are women, was that done on purpose?
All of the members of Crazy Multiply are women! It wasn’t in any way done on purpose. We’ve previously held calls for new members and interns and frankly, women are the only applicants who have seriously approached us. While we are open to men joining, we haven’t seen any express an interest. Since our goals are focused on the goals of our current members, whom are all women, we’re definitely invested in promoting female voices. We have some future events in the works that are specifically geared to highlight women’s issues which we’re really excited about. I think we create a space that’s female-friendly and safe so many times our events are mostly women, which shows a definite lack of these kinds of art spaces and events elsewhere.
Jenny Lee Robinson
With Crazy Multiply, what do you hope to promote in Korea?
Our goal is to definitely foster a greater dialogue between Korean and international artists, especially those that take their practice seriously but haven’t been afforded many opportunities (due to varying circumstances.) We’d also like to provide a space for marginalized voices so they have a chance to be heard and engage with a wider audience.
Crazy Multiply and Mayfly have joined, how has this changed Crazy Multiply? Has it? How has this helped both?
MAYFLY hasn’t ‘joined’ Crazy Multiply per se, as it’s a curatorial concept. Miss Baik conceived of MAYFLY in 2015, despite also working as a full-time curator at the time. As Miss Baik joined Crazy Multiply, she was still working, and organizing MAYFLY exhibitions, so to lighten her load we collectively decided to bring MAYFLY into the fold. It is still however a collaboration between MISS BAIK and Crazy Multiply, and not something exclusive to Crazy Multiply.
When MAYFLY first started it only had basics of what exhibition should have – artists, their works and the space. But as since talented Crazy Multiply members helped now it is starting to have proper posters and photos
- Jenny Lee Robinson
- Jenny Lee Robinson
Do you have any stories from the shows you’ve curated together? Funny things that happened, unexpected twists and turns? Issues that arose and you combated them?
Kaleena: I enjoy watching the ‘firsts’ happen. Our events have led to artists selling their work for the first time, our events are friendly and open enough that we tend to be the first ‘art’ event that people may come to. And for some artists we are their first exhibition. These moments always stand out in my mind and remind me of the importance of continuing to contribute to a group like CM.
Rori: I remember several incidents involving men harassing/assaulting our female artists and curators at events. As nice as it would be to be able to let your guard down sometimes, that’s just not the reality of the world we live in. We keep track of all incidents so we can be better prepared at prevention and to deal with issues once they’ve occurred.
Tina: I think a strength of Crazy Multiply is our ability to work together as a team and work through any issue collectively. The ladies in this group are really great about working as a team and consulting each other when there is an issue. We really strive to communicate clearly and about everything.
How do you find places to showcase? How do you choose the people to put into your exhibitions?
Many of the spaces we work with are artist-run spaces or alternative art spaces, so they’re really open to different types of events. We find spaces through our well established network of artist communities. It’s all about who you know. We run as a not for profit and many people reach out to us because they value our professionalism and hard work.
Who do you want to be in your shows? Who do you want to come to your shows? Does everyone have to be an artist to partake or enjoy?
It depends on the exhibition: MAYFLY exhibitions just depend on who fills out the form and shows up that day, while some events have open calls for work and others we specifically curate depending on a theme.
Our shows are open to everyone. We host free events in hopes to draw a diverse crowd and provide the opportunity for people who usually don’t interact with art to come and experience it. Most events the crowd consists of art lovers, but there’s always curious people who stop by and view the show. It’s really interesting to see community members who normally would not participate in the art scene come out and see local artists. It’s really fun to see everyone interact together and learn more about each other. Many artists also find inspiration from our shows and submit work for our next events. We love to see who comes out for our events!